While John the Baptist was in prison, He heard from his disciples all that Jesus was doing. John sent two of them to ask Jesus, “Are you the One to fulfill God’s promise, or must we look for someone else?”
Something I’ve never considered is, “Could these two disciples of John the Baptist also have been disciples of Jesus? Could these two have been among the Twelve?”
We know that at least two of Jesus’ disciples were also disciples of John the Baptist: Andrew and presumably John. It’s also a safe assumption to consider their brothers, Simon Peter and James, were also John’s disciples. And it’s not much of a stretch to also look at Philip and Nathanael as likely disciples of the Baptizer as well.
Could it have been two of these that brought word to John in prison and returned to Jesus with John’s question? If so, what does it matter?
We do read in John 3 of John’s disciples having a separate ministry from Jesus and His disciples. Also, in Acts 18 we read of Apollos, who only knew the baptism of John. And in Acts 19 we read of John’s disciples receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit (evidently they weren’t there with Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost).
So there is evidence that John the Baptist had disciples who hadn’t yet transitioned to following Jesus as their Messiah.
If the two disciples John sent to inquire of Jesus weren’t yet believers in the Messiah, I would think that this encounter with Him would help them turn that corner.
And what if John’s two were among Jesus’ Twelve? I would think that them seeing John in prison would shake their faith a bit too. I would think that Jesus’ answer was as much for them as it was for John.
For these two disciples, this would be a defining moment. What will my faith cost me? What might Jesus ask me to sacrifice for Him? Is Jesus for real? Is following Jesus worth it?
These are questions every Christ-follower must ask, and answer, for themselves.
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